tv Charlie Rose WHUT March 3, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EST
>> welcome to our program. toninight joe klein of "time" magazine on the wisconsin budget union battle that could have some implications for the rest of the country. >> the bus drivers, the home healthcare workers, the other public employees, the bed pan carriers in hospitals. they're not rich and the budget is being balanced in wisconsin on their backs. that's one side of the story. the other side of the story is that public employees unions are pretty questionable proposition. franklin roosevelt had great reservations about them. other progressive figures have as well. and the reason why is that they're not like industrial unions. they're not organized against the power of capital, they're organized against the power of
the public. and [indiscernible] officials. >> charlie: he brought us the black swan nassim taleb is back with a new book driving our economy. >> it has so much complexity that we need to have more reserves in a way against unpredictability and i refer very often to mother nature as west manager. mother nature gave it to me and you don't have to predict what makes you lose one of them. it's a virus, bacteria or anything else. you have a buffer. >> charlie: and we conclude with mike huckabee the former governor of arkansas who might run for president again. >> we certainly need a person who thinks he can do the job and frankly i think i can. i think i can run against president obama more effectively than any republican i see. >> charlie: why do you think that. >> i think i can articulate the
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: we begin this evening with a look at the wisconsin budget stand off. republican governor scott walker proposed a two-year budget yesterday. it would cut more than $1.25 billion in state aid to schools and local governments. the plan came as walker remained deadlock with senate democrats for a third week of rebuild that would limit collective bargaining rights for union
workers. the issue has stirred a national debate over some of the country's biggest problems, among them public education, labor, collective bargaining ad the cost for development. he was in madison, wisconsin last week and he is in the current issue of "time" magazine. here it is as goes wisconsin. tell me what issues this has framed for the country but make it specific first about wisconsin. >> well, there are two big issues for both wis consin and the country. on the one hand there is the fate of the middle class which was protected for a long time by labor unions. i sat down with a group of six public employees, one of them had written me an angry e-mail so i said let's get together and have a couple beers. so we did. you have people who are making like $30,000 a year working for the university of wisconsin trying to support a family with
two kids. and you know, these, those people should always be remembered in these kind of conversations, the bus drivers, the home healthcare workers, the other public employees, the bed pan carriers and hospitals. they're not rich and the budget is being balanced in wisconsin on their backs. that's one side of the story. the other side of the story is that public employees unions are a pretty questionable proposition. franklin roosevelt had great reservations about them. other progressive figures have as well and the reason why is that they're not like industrial unions, they're not organized against the power of capital, they're organized against the power of the public. the and public officials. and essentially public employees unions are sitting on both sides of the table when they negotiate because they can contribute to politicians. they're the fiercist campaign
workers i've ever seen. you should look at a phone bank run by the teachers union. that's dedicated stuff. and so they have undo power over the politicians they're negotiating with. also, they negotiate with the knowledge that while p.m. they shut down if the unions don't make the concessions that are needed. new york city, we're managing wisconsin is never going to close down the schools. >> charlie: how would the governor define the issue and how would the unions define the issue. >> well the governor decided, the governor has been a little bit disingenuous, in fact very disingenuous the way he defines the issue. he defines it purely as a budget issue. and there are budget problems here, especially in long term pension and healthcare within fits that the unions have negotiated over time. the union would describe it as a most basic right to work issue,
right to unionize issue. that the governor is trying bust him. under his proposal the union would only have the power to negotiate wage increases and those only according to the inflation index. >> charlie: they would say the governor, while he may say that he's not trying to bust unions is because he would give you no power to negotiate anything other than wages. >> and by the way, you know, the fact is that in his many public appearances walker, scott walker the governor has really stone walled these issues. he just says we're broke, we can't negotiate. well, that's true, you know, they're broke but they can negotiate and there's also this whole other side of the issue which is taxes. you can raise them. >> charlie: what is the union prepared to do to meet him, quote, halfway? >> well the unions have made wage and benefit concessions.
they're essentially going to give them what they want but they want to retain the right to bargain collectively. and you know, there's a reasonable compromise but it evades the part of the problem that i'm most concerned about, and that's this. that over time, it's a lot easier for politicians to negotiate big benefits packages like pensions and healthcare. and also work rules packages that give the union the right to decide to lengthen the school day, how to hire and fire teachers, things like that. it's easy to do that than to raise wages. when you raise wages it's in the budget you might have to raise tacks. when you make these other concessions, these are things that are partially hidden and you're not hidden the public. in the short term. in the long term, though, the schools become places that are run for the benefit of the teacher rather than the benefit of the students. >> charlie: so where is obama
on this? >> well obama is an interesting and difficult place because the public employees unions are the throbbing heart of the democratic party right now. democrats of the party of government, of the employees are government. >> charlie: they are the largest union too, are they not. >> at this point, and the teachers in particular are the most active and in terms of contributions, in terms of delegates to the democratic convention, one out of every five -- no it's less than that, it's 15%. but still that's huge. on the other hand obama understands that there have to be long term reforms in how government is conducted. and one of the greatest impediments to that have been the work rules that teachers and other unions have negotiated. his education policies which emphasize charter schools and choice and merit pay for
teachers fly in the face of what the teachers units have been fighting for all these years. >> in fact if you ask him or during the campaign you asked him even after the first year, what is the one thing where you have gone against the interest of your constituency, he would point to education reform and teachers. >> and he's right by the way. he's absolutely right. i mean i cut my teeth covering new york city politics. and i looked at the schools here in new york very very closely and over time it became absolutely apparent to me it was impossible to fire a teacher even if that teacher was convicted of a sex crime. i mean, it was impossible. they put them in these -- but also it was hard -- >> charlie: it's a place where they have no jobs, they just show up. >> they show up for years on end doing nothing. and it's hard, not only to fire a teacher but also to reward the
good teachers. right now mayor bloomberg is fighting a battle that's going to be fought all of those countries which is you have to lay off teachers, who do you lay off. the unions insist on strict seniority rules. last hired first fired. the mayor would like to evaluate the teachers and choose the be ones. teachers unions have traditionally opposed to that and that's not in the best interest of our kids. >> charlie: is this going to be at the beginning of some change in the way america looks at labor unions? >> i think that that change is taking place. >> charlie: that's question number one and it's unions number two. >> it's a difficult issue. on the one had the public and the polls show this are sympathetic to the rights of workers to organize and win for themselves a middle class life-style. but because of the dysfunctions of the negotiating between politicians and public employees, the public employees haven't been able to win themselves the wages they deserve but they've gotten these
bloated healthcare and pension benefits and when the public looks at that, they say why are they getting that. >> charlie: so what's the answer to that. >> the answer is to bring those pension plans and healthcare more in line with the rest of the public. >> charlie: so you tell firemen and cops you're not going to get the pension plan that you expected? >> yes. you change the deal. especially you change it for new workers coming in. you make pensions more like the 401k's like the rest of us get. but you cannot forget, if we're going to compete in the world, you cannot forget the work rules issue and how teachers especially are going to be treated. they say they want to be treated by professionals, their union insisted to be treated like steelworkers. >> charlie: so turning the corner here, this is your colun in times magazine. they were undecided to
officially appoint her for a battle that could last for months. the banks are scared to death of her one senator told me. she speaks in clear simple sentences that terrifies them. which means this is a fight worth having in a way to drama types the complicated issues that there are to regulatory reform. the president should appoint one. tell me more. >> the connection is this. it's something that just leaned out at me last september when i took a road trip across the country speaking to average folks. and it's this. much the financial speculators who brought you the wall street crash of 2008, you know, are the people who put those jobs overseas in many cases but having done that, they turn their attention to the housing market. and they give loans to people, people i talked to would cite individuals and say they gave
loans to that guy. he couldn't afford that loan, that was crazy. and then they took those loans, they packaged them into bonds, they sliced and diced them, they bet on them and the market crashed. and with that crash, tax revenues came down, governors like scott walker had the excuse to go after the public employees unions. the reason why we have a $1.5 trillion deficit this year is because the revenues aren't coming in because of the wall street crash. now, this is really complicated stuff. it's almost impossible to understand and that's the way wall street wants it. they want these things to be as opaque as possible. >> charlie: bring me back, she is going to head up or would like to head up or be the first director of the consumer protection agency. >> before we go there, we've got to tell you what the republicans did in the house in the budget bill that they sent to the senate. they cut out all the funding,
the enhanced funding that would be needed to go after these phony derivative deals and also to allow the consumer able see that elizabeth warren would head to go after the phony mortgage brokers, the credit card makers who charge these ridiculous interest rates, the payday lenders. all these scam artists who are ripping off the middle class. by the way, elizabeth warren has hired david petraeus' wife, holly petraeus to concentrate on one particular area of this which is very crucial. >> charlie: the military. >> yes, military is a middle class, you know, institution that gets ripped off by these guys continually. and now looks pretty, it now looks pretty harsh. >> charlie: this is not -- >> i don't know if the administration is going to bring her up because it's been delayed for months on end and if it geh
past july the consumer -- >> charlie: where is the leadership on this, where is harry reid, where is dick durbin, where is chuck schumer. >> well chuck schumer has been, you know, the senator from wall street andn't i don't know where he is on this particular bill. >> charlie: what i'm saying is he on the elizabeth warren. >> that's hard to say as well until it actually happens. >> they don't want to make it happen in the first place. they don't want the administration to bring up her name. but i think that this is a really good tells. i think that this is a fight that should be worth having. >> charlie: they would send the administration to bring her up to see who is prepare to put there. >> who wants to clean up wall street, who doesn't. it's a very clear vote. and i think that at this point, durbin who is in charge of the subcommittee appropriations that deals with these regulatory agencies, really hopes that the obama administration makes this
fight. he raises an important point. there is so many fights in th, it's so complicated. >> charlie: you think the administration is going to punt. >> it's going to punt and i'm the door to the same kind of criminal activities that brought us the crash of 2008. >> charlie: joe klein, thank you. nassim taleb is here, he's a professor, philosopher and author. thinks book the black swan predicted fertility and financial markets could spark an economic crises. it has sold nearly three million copies worldwide. it was described as one of the most influential books since world war ii. the latest is called the bed of procrustes, i am pleased to have nassim taleb back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, it's as good a
time. >> charlie: accolades came to you. you went out and promoted the book and retreated. >> sort of retreated and started writing scientific papers on the topic. and then i got, and then i wrote postscript and added it to the black swan. they thought that i was inviting them to predict these rare events when in fact i was proposing something drastically different, tried to be robust to them, identify fragility and try to be robust to them. so i wrote the postscript which is exactly opposite of what people were thinking at the time as a solution to the black swan and then retreated back. and started taking long walks. slow walks slowly for a a long time and writing -- >> charlie: and you wrote how many, 500 or so. >> i wrote 500. we had to cut down 40 just to please the editor. >> charlie: which is your
favorite? what is your favorite. >> depends. randomly opened the page and i'll explain why. this one is probably the one, it's not my favorite, the one that represents my ideas the most. a the prophet is not someone with special vision just blind to what most of what others see. so someone that doesn't see others. i have this idea of what i call subtractive prophecy. to predict the future, you don't look to the future and add to it to predict. you need to remove from the future what doesn't belong there because of the fragility. the next prediction continues to different operations. >> charlie: central to your argument and specifically it comes all with the chairman of the federal reserve, bernanke. the points of reference are wrong in terms of taking action for the future.
>> ben bernanke is completely fooled by the property of the system. he didn't understand the risks of the system. he thought it was a great moderation when in fact we were spinning on dynamite and he thought it was a grade moderation. and of course crises happened and took place and he still couldn't figure out why the crises took place nor did he figure out what solution we should be having to eliminate these risks to make the world more predictable. my idea is we lived in a world that had so much in complexity, okay, that we need to have more reserves in a way against that unpredictability. and i refer to mother nature as the best risk. mother nature took me and you don't have to predict what environment will make you lose one of them. you have to predict this virus, bacteria or anything else. you have a buffer.
now the exact opposite of redundancy is that when instead of having two kidneys, you go borrow one. so bernanke doesn't understand that deficits fragilize the cision tim further. it's sort of like giving a cancer patient a double dose of pain medication. >> charlie: what he doesn't understand about deficits what a majority of the country doesn't understand about deficits. >> the problem of the black swan problem comes from high dose of unpredictability that people do not take into account. it makes the world less and less forecastable. if the world is not easy to forecast, what do you do? you have reserves. are you try to not have to rely on forecasts, okay. if you have that that system you need to be very good at forecasting. for instance now we don't show budget. the office of management budget
and these people didn't get anything right. look at the forecast made in 2004, 05, and 6. these people are issuing employment forecast for next ten years. based on that they're going to bury. the smallest mistake in the forecasting can turn, you know, that thing into something like the -- so my point is that an environment that is robust and needs to have low level of debt and a lot of redundancy, you see. >> charlie: so you suggest we transfer the debt into equity. >> the private debt should be transferred into equity and we will have to go through some belt tightening. with all the economy didn't understand when the crises happened that it was not a problem of recession, it was a problem of risk. height of the risk in the system. it took them two years. >> charlie: they understood
we were overleveraged because the risk ratio was too high. >> it took them years to understand the remedy. the remedy is to cut the cancer. now we have two years of cancer. >> charlie: cut the cancer means what. >> at the time to move the debt by turning it into equity and take the pain immediately. now we have deficits, you see. that's that. then we have to borrow. >> charlie: so they should have done what? >> the first thing, what obama did, obama took power, he appointed people, three people, three persons at a time, summers, people who were part of the system and then see the risks. the wrong message. >> charlie: there were three people responsible even for the bush administration, one who is the second of treasury, hank paulson, he was chairman of the fed and then bernanke and then
geithner. bernanke states and geithner becomes the secretary of the treasury -- >> what i meant is these people are far from the establishment that built up the risk. someone who can't understand the for cast. what i meant at the time we should have done what david cameron in uk understood immediately is immediately try to cut the cancer immediately. >> david cam cameron, tell us what david cameron has done to put into his budget, a george osborne, the -- >> he real items the problem is not recession, the problem is worse. it's a problem of risk which leads eventually to much worse recession later, you see. the problem of all these problem who are in favor of spending we don't have is that they don't
realize that you are pushing the system further with these packages of stimulus. if you take an individual, if you are in debt, okay, what do you do? you're in debt, you borrow more? no. you have a problem. now what we've done -- >> charlie: if you were in debt you have less is what you would organ. >> you would spend less. so you try to spend less and try to manage your finances. the chinese are not going to lend you much more. >> charlie: we'll come back to that. >> so the problem, the obama administration started transforming, one adult went to another fool. now who is paying the price? who is taking the risk of the policy, the person who did the right thing, mainly the one who saves. and in a lot of respect they did exactly the wrong thing. >> charlie: it was a saving
society. america was a consumer society so when the crises came or even before china was supporting, china in hits society with a lot of money was able to take u.s. debt because we were a consuming society. >> within the u.s. you have people who borrowed, okay. the person who did the wrong thing, namely take a mortgage when they should not have borrowed that much much money, okay. it's being bailed out when the person who saved money is now on the threat of high inflation to bail the other person out with a little bit of inflation. to me, there is a moral problem. there are two moral problems. no one, the innocent is paying for the mistake. the innocent the person who did the right thing is paying for mistakes of those who did the wrong thing and the second one we by borrowing, by running this now trillion plus deficit, we are transferring the risk to
futuregen race. it may work out but they should not be the ones to bear, that's the romans held is that a child shall not be responsible for the sins of his father. >> charlie: so do you accept the principles of the deficit reduction a way to begin to deal with the deficit proposed by them? >> i have not followed. i don't follow. they did the that for me except for the uk because of my closeness to the cameron administration sthievment what do you mean closeness to the cameron administration. >> i talked with the policy people there. i like them and they understand my ideas, they understood my ideas of fragility before anybody else and they like, they liked it for most of society rather than from the wealthy society. in other words they like to, if you get on a plane, you refer
speed to safety and some prefer safe two to speed. so we think along the same lines. over here, i don't quite understand the republicans. they're like small governments but big corporations and i don't understand the democrats they're lying big government and don't like corporations. i don't quite understand that in washington so i'm completely shut off from what's going on here except i'm paying taxes and i did the right thing and i have savings and i don't want my savings to evaporate because of mistakes made by someone who borrowed when he shouldn't have borrowed. so these people who are penalized shouldn't be penalized. >> charlie: you're reflecting a lot of the sentiment of german voters who object to the bailout of greece. we were saving, we were living within our means and the greek government was living way beyond
its means and now when push came to shove, we're going called on to rescue them. >> well the situation is a lot worse here than was greece, okay. people keep talking about europe as something shaky and i think that europe overall they had less overall as a competent or as a currency unit in the united states. the more robust. they understood the problem before we did, you see. we, greece has been forced to cut those risks so they don't spend money they don't have. >> charlie: that's the condition of the loin. >> because they have german and the imf where obama doesn't have anyone. we have a trillion to worry about. more than a trillion. >> charlie: what would you cut? >> it's not going to be popular but you have to cut everywhere. >> charlie: you are highly critical of finance. >> yes. because i think if you lower
that, we bailed out the banks in 1982. we started the whole process and it got bigger and bigger, seemingly more stable. but in fact they were hiding risks in what i call the tails, under the rug. like dynamite inner your basement. and they kept getting bigger and bigger, more and more fragile and government free options of support. and if you had left that in the system, bankers could be as incompetent as they want and it won't affect us much. our level to that of gdp is about five times approximately, five times what it was in the 70's and early 8 0's. the bing is going of -- bank going to be as incompetence. people blame the crises on malfeasance. business is the story of dishonesty people looking for
their own interest. i would like to live in a society in which, you know, kind of work behavior doesn't affect our citizens. that's very simple. >> charlie: and you blame it on too much risk and too much leverage and too much debt. >> i blame it on too many economic theories and decision-making. i would like something more organic. for example, take the fed. you see the mistake made by the fed. they had their theories, they wanted us to stabilize the different cycle and the labor is the same. they said no more bust. it's like egypt. they prop up the dictator, artificial constraint. they constrain the volatility. meanwhile the risks are hiding in the system, okay. and of course we're going to have the exposure. so i want a society that has organic volatility like nature where people fail early, not
late. so i want more national system. i would like government not to fragilize large corporations but letting them get very big at the expense of the small guy and bail them out, okay, on the occasion. >> charlie: you also believe that globalization created interlocking fragility. >> i'm not against globalization but i was extremely out raged as i red the book by thomas friedman called the earth is flat. he doesn't understand that this kind of globalization was predictability. you see, i'm not against it provided the side effect. the side effect of that kind of environment is that you're going to have more take effect, more overspecialization, more fragility, more people going bust, more volatile food prices. people don't have the same inventories because it's more specialization and more leverage. so you have an environment that
is not as resilient as what we had before and has no place to hide. >> charlie: my impression of tom friedman's pieces is simply the world was flat. he argued that technology, you know, had essentially eliminated some of the differences between people and states and so therefore with access to technology, you could compete in a different way. >> yes, but because of technology, people start over specialization. and because of technology, we had as a side effect lower predictability. because of technology, now we can use all your money from iceland immediatelies, it's not having these bursts of things. and it's very destabilize. i'm not against globalization, i'm not against the web, i'm against thinking that it's a tendency without looking at side effects. and the side effects can be monstrous. >> charlie: we speak of the need to live. the need to live in a world
beyond our capability to comprehend. >> we need to learn to live in something we don't quite understand. and then give you my whole method and, -- and explain everything on the whole show in 2009, a gentleman stood up and showed his projection, 11, 12, and 13. ment i stood up and asked them before he sat down to show the crowd his projections for 2007, 2008 three, four and five. i told the audience it can be summarized as follows.
i wanted him to be as wrong as he wants without affecting the group, you see. so i wrote backwards from that principle to what society should be living in. it's a society in which extra problems don't hurt us so much. and the society has unique characteristics. >> charlie: this book is called the bed of procrustes. mike huckabee is here, he is a former governor of arkansas and was a presidential candidate. he hosts a show huckabee on fox news and gives daily comment trees on various radio stations. his new book is a simple government, 12 things we need from washington and a trillion that we don't. i am pleased to have mike huckee on the show, welcome back. >> thank you very much charlie. >> charlie: what's this book about. >> it's an attempt to take all the big issues, the complex and
complicated issues we face with the company and back want with a macro lens and say how do we approach these with a principal, a big picture principle that applied to it would help unravel this ball of string. the because what i sense happening in politics is that people get so down in the weeds and they fight the battles so deeply within the weeds that nobody understands it. i mean, the original constitution was 20 pages. the healthcare bill was 2300 pages and people says we'll know what's in it once we pass it. they admitted they hadn't read it. heck they couldn't read 2300 pages. there needs to be an attempt to get back to the simplicity of common sense basic principles and write laws so that an average layman getting home from a hard day's work could read it and say yes, that's what that's going to do to me. and this is what i've attempted to do is to say, let's take the issue of the government's budget. my basic principle is you can't spend money you don't v you
can't borrow money that you can't afford to pay back. that's the subtitle of that chapter which i think for most people they would say yes that's sort of profound because it's so obvious. but it isn't obvious to washington. they continue to spend money they don't have, they borrow money they can't afford to pay back and somewhere down the line our grandchildren, our great grandchildren or our children have to figure out what to do with a bankrupt government. the point is that's not complicated. that's what every individual does at home. that's what every business has to do. it's what government has to start doing. >> charlie: and then you have a deficit commission of republicans and democrats and no one is endorissing it except the people who chaired the commission but paul ryman has said some positive things about the discussion that took place. but we've learned. >> i talk about for example the things we're not supposed to talk about politically. i say that for example in the
social security program, we've got to raise the retirement age. that's standing out to heresy. it's political heresy to say that but it's true. >> charlie: that's hitting the rail of politics. >> it did. but i think now it's a point where if we don't touch it, we're all going to die from it. we talk about medicare, the same thing. if 60 is the new 40 then you need to start acting like it charlie. we need to start believing if we're so wondfully healthy and going to live forever, then we are can't start getting benefits at 65 when we're going to live to 85. >> okay. but on your side of the aisle, these talk about discretionary spending. is that the answer or is the answer having a very very politically risky willingness to look at entitlements, medicare and social security and defense. >> my frustration is one of the reasons i wrote the book. politicians today had rather risk their children's future than their own. what i look for is people who will just be honest enough and i think the american people are
capable of hearing the truth. and if they're not, well do you know what, then i'll find that out when they hear my ideas and they say well i'll never ever support a guy who will go out there and suggest we raise the retirement age of social security or give people a chance to have a one time buyout which is an idea that i think we ought to be exploring. >> charlie: i didn't expect to dive into this but when you said when i have a chance to explain to my viewers suggest that you'll give them serious consideration to once again running for president. >> i absolutely am. i'm reading these articles that say huckabee's not running. really, how do they know that. do they know something i don't know. did they talk to my inner psyche that i haven't been in touch with. i find it amazing when i try to be honest with people, people perceive that as saying well he's not going to run. >> charlie: you didn't go to the cpac conference and people
didn't say uh-huh. why did you a not go and why should we read anything into that? >> well first of all there are two reasons i didn't go. one of which is a very practical one. i had a job in new york that i had to report to. >> charlie: we could change that. you could have fixed that. >> the other reason and i've been very honest bit. i feel think cpac has evolved over the years to be more of a forum for libertarian. i'm not libertarian. there are things i admire about libertarian and there are views i share but i'm not a libertarian, i'm a republican. i know the difference. i don't think a lot of people who are libertarians are maybe libertarian linear republicans, i don't think they do know the difference. >> charlie: would you say not because you have joined up that you're a a member of the tea py in a sense of what they argue as their principles and their priorities are the principles and priorities of -- >> oh, i think so.
because the tea party is essentially a movement that sprung up from people watching the government and do what they couldn't do. they would go to jail doing what they were watching congress do. >> charlie: back to you running for president. because you've said one interesting thing. i do not think that mike huckabee, that a country will lose something valuable that mike huckabee decides not to run for president. >> a little variation of that. i think they would. i don't have a complex to think i'm the only person who could possibly be president and if i don't the whole country and the future of the world will crumble. i think that we ought to be afraid of megalo maniacs who want to be president of the united states. certainly we ought to have a person who thinks he can do the job and frankly i think i can. i think i can run against president obama more effectively than any republican i see. >> charlie: why do you think that? >> because i do think i can articulate the message. first of all i think there's
clarity of my own convictions. i think if people read my book, they're not going to say mm-mm, i wonder what huckabee really thinks about the situation in the middle east, border security and debt. they're going to get it. >> charlie: do you think issues are different in 2012 a year from now that are different from 2008. >> it's always different. they were different in 2008 than they were in 2007. >> charlie: is the premisey of life-style issues, divorce, a thing of the past for the republican party and the country at large where we have the kind of fiscal problems we have today. >> it may not be front and center. it may not be the issue that is the first three points of the speech but i do think that there is still a very important aspect in which people and particularly conservatives want to know that you still stand for the idea
that life is precious and sacred, that every life has intrinsic value. and that the institution of marriage still means that a man and a woman going together as life partners and they create the next generation and they train their replacements. >> charlie: some say that the end of don't ask don't tell is an indication that the country has shifted. >> i don't doubt that especially in younger people. and where this issue has been on the ballot even liberal states like maine and california, every time the people vote without exception people vote for traditional marriage. that to me says something far louder than what a few politicians do or a few activists say that across the board, most liberal and the most conservative and everything in between, judges make different decisions, sometimes occasionally but even rarely legislators would make different
decisions. people are consistent into the decision as it relates to that issue. >> charlie: what will be the determining factor you think within the republican party as to how it selects its nominee. you've been there, you've had the experience and you did well in some primaries. >> right. the one thing that makes it very different to predict is what issues are actually on fire at the point of decision. i think the issues are one, employment. >> charlie: right. >> jobs, just pure and simple jobs. >> charlie: somebody said that four letter word, j-o-b. >> jobs, clearly front and inner. if the employment rate is somewhere between nine and ten, the president is in trouble. >> charlie: but if it's at eight which most economists predict it will be at. >> i'm not so sure. >> charlie: you're not so sure it will be there.
>> i'm not so sure it will be at eight, it bill -- will hover closer to ten. >> charlie: you don't believe the economy is recovering. >> no, i don't believe. >> charlie: mike huckabee doesn't believe the economy will grow from three to 4% -- >> i hope it does. but i don't see it. when i go out and talk to people i look at the unemployment rate and see manufacturing still to the decline -- you see china -- both republicans and democrats have looked the other way. this isn't a party issue this is one where power has looked the other way. >> charlie: what should power have done. >> power should have said to the chinese, look we have international trade laws, you're going to abide by them. you can't claim to have manufactured something in vietnam or bangladesh when in fact it was manufactured in china and you just shipped it through, dumped it in the united states at a price, at the final product lower -- >> charlie: -- world trade
organization. >> who is doing anything about it? nobody. we've given them so much of our debt that we find it very difficult to rattle a sabre and stealing intellectual property rights from us and we don't do anything. >> charlie: you believe we don't do anything about it because they have more than a trillion dollars of u.s. debt. >> it's two things. one is the debt that they owe or they own that we owe and i think secondly charlie it's because in america, so many people have made a whole lot of money by letting the chinese manufacturer bring it to the united states and it's cost a lot of people jobs here. and that's what i see happening. in the big since. and then as it applies to issues like our trade situation, we're willing to sacrifice the next generation of americans sore we can make a bigger, better and quicker profit today. it's not just an economic issue, it is a moral issue. >> charlie: so mike huckabee
would recommend to the country and to the congress, we raised the retirement age to what? to 75? >> if we look at the actuarial tables. >> charlie: 70, 72. >> maybe 75. after all as i say, you all feel better, you're going to live longer. >> charlie: what would you do about medicare? >> well one thing i would do is create a voucher system where people go into the marketplace. you can't just cut medicare off. but what you with have to do is make it so there's a greater level of accountability on the part of the recipient. the biggest mistake we've made and it's not just with medicare it's with the third party insurance provided by employer. when the person who receives the benefit isn't the same person who pays for the benefit he doesn't care what the benefit costs. if i have some role in the transaction, i care more intently what it's actual me costing. if you gave me a card, a plastic
card that was a grocery card and i could go to any grocery store in america and i could basket shop and put anything in there i wanted and go to the check outline and i never had to look at the prices because it was going to be put on the card and i don't know who paid for it, somebody else paid for it. i would be buying different groceries than if i look at every item and that card comes out of my checking account. that's what i'm talking about. >> charlie: what would you do about the debt. >> i would not increase the debt ceiling unless there was a willingness and an agreement to cut spending. you might shut government down. >> charlie: that's boehner's proposition. >> i agree with him. >> charlie: if in thank that does not take place then you would not raise the deficit. >> i would not. >> charlie: if that means the government goes broke. >> the government's already broke. >> charlie: you were governor. we're looking at a crises in
wisconsin right now. what do you see is at stake at what the governor is doing. >> he's taking the stand he has to take to try to keep his state from going bankrupt. one of the things that people have to recognize, i'm not against collective bargaining in a private sector but i have a real problem with it in the public sector. for this reason. in the private sector, if you bargain for wages and benefits, you're in a competitive marketplace. if you were in a paper company, there are other people making paper and so if you end up making paper that costs a whole lot more because of your labor and benefits, you may go out of business and everybody loses a job. so that keeps people honest. it keeps them more to collectively bargain but they bargain within the context of reality. if you're a public sector, you've got a monopoly. there's no competition. the government is the only provider of what it's doing. so therefore, when the unions put a lot of money into campaigns and they elect people who are beholden to them and those people can continue to
borrow money and make sure they take care of the people that thook care of them it's a dangerous vicious cycle. what the governor is doing is what he has to do. a teacher in wisconsin puts in $1 for the retirement fund. the fund puts in 57. i don't know too much people who have a retirement plan. >> charlie: there is it seems to me a huge anger over the fact that people in the private sector see people in the public sector being able to retire with extraordinary benefits because they opt out at age 75. >> it used to not be the case but it is now. >> charlie: do you think the governor is trying to break the unions that this is the beginning of an effort in the country. >> i think that -- >> charlie: -- good -- >> -- i go back to my point i'm not sure one can justify collective bargaining for public workers if there's no
competition for them. >> charlie: going back to this book speaking clear and concise, why don't you just say i think that this ought to be the beginning of an effort to do away with unions for people engaged as public employees. >> i thought i just did. >> charlie: okay. would you be more precise about it. you said i don't think it was necessary. you didn't say i think this is the way we ought to do. >> no, i do. >> charlie: public employees should not be allowed to belong to a union and they should not be allowed to strike. >> they shouldn't strike and they shouldn't be able to have -- >> charlie: if you belong to a union then what would the union do. collective bargaining. they belong to a union but what. what's the purpose of being in a union. >> we didn't have unions for public employees in arkansas we'd an association. they were an effective lobbying force. >> charlie: you just said it's okay if a public employee belongs to a union, that's all right. >> i don't remember it being an issue. i don't think they can come and put the government in a hostage
situation. you can't hold the services of government for ransom. i do think that these what's wrong. if you have teachers who are cd to teach and they walk away from their classroom in essence going on strike and they go down to the state capitol screaming i do have a problem with that because you say what's wrong with the -- >> charlie: people are making comparison with what the governor of wisconsin is doing compared to president reagan when he was running for governor in california and later what he did with the air controls. do you think that's what's goig on here that this is a developing potent issue in the more than political discourse. >> i think it could be charlie, i don't know for sure. i think the immediate issue that scott walker as governor of wisconsin faces is is broke andt as it is for all governors. governors do three things. educate, medicate and incarcerate. that's the job. >> charlie: one of those got you in trouble.
all three of them did. >> at some point or another seriously all of them got me in trouble because i actually tried to take those issues seriously and i've tried to govern rather than just be on auto pilot. >> charlie: you were there at the time of the revolt in egypt. >> yes. >> charlie: what did you think of it as you watched it from tel aviv or jerusalem. >> the united states was very quick to completely distance itself from mubarak and call for -- to step down. we didn't do that for ahmadinejad two years ago. >> charlie: should we. that is an important political point. >> i don't think the president of the united states -- >> charlie: this is the argument taking place now for example whether the president of the united states should have said i'm on the side of the reform, i hope they will succeed and i hope -- >> i think the way to frame it is this. i believe that people have a
right to self govern and have a right to express themselves. we respect that people are in the street but e also respect the fact there's a leader in egypt who for 30 years has held the peace and he has arneed the peace agreement with israel and has provided a safe environment in the middle east at a time the longest period of time that there had been one. and we don't want to ignore what he has done. we're not sanctioning some of his actions, particularly some of the heavy handed things. obvious some corruption that was going on. but what i don't understand and the ips rape lisa didn't understand why we treated an am eye with greater disdain than we treated an out right enemy. it was remarkable and israelis were seeing what the united states would do with its allies. and it said it may not be best to be a friend. >> charlie: you think it was a mistake not to support strongly mubarak. >> no, i never said we should
support mubarak we should simply acknowledge for 30 years he had been an ally and had not did everything ron. >> charlie: did the president do that. >> no, i don't think so. >> charlie: this is called a simple government, 12 things we really need from washington. mike huckabee, thank you so much. >> thank you, charlie. >> charlie: it's a pleasure as always. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org